Teaching any child to read is a complex task requiring effort and commitment from all involved parties. When the child also has learning disabilities, the levels of commitment, time, and specific instruction skyrocket. Ideally all children will begin literacy instruction in a tier 1 environment, using methods and tools that will identify areas of need early in a student’s education. Online reading programs for special education from Essential Skills can be used with all early readers, as well as older remedial students. These programs provide instant feedback to teachers, including areas of success and weakness. Once a difficulty has been identified, Essential Skills programs can be used to address missing skills and give students extra practice where they need it most.

Online reading programs for special education


The main goals of a successful reading program for children with learning disabilities are:

  • Ensure that all children have access to the resources they need to succeed
  • Prepare them for the future (employment, education, independence)
  • Ensure the programming is engaging and appropriately leveled to maintain their interest. This goal can be achieved through the use of online reading programs. Autism is especially challenging, and Essential Skills programs are proven effective with this disorder.


Most of the sound strategies and practices used in regular classrooms will be somewhat effective for kids identified as special education candidates, however these students will require more time and practice to succeed. Literacy programs should be structured and systematic. Look for the following qualities when considering online reading programs for special education:

  • Reading skills need to be explicitly taught – this is especially relevant when evaluating reading programs for autism spectrum disorder.
  • Lessons should include phoneme awareness, decoding, and emphasis on foundation words including Dolch words.
  • Online reading programs can provide instruction in these areas with the added benefits of instant feedback in a format that appeals to children at varying levels of skill development.
  • Literacy skills should be incorporated into all areas of education.

Online reading programs for special education provide the opportunity for teachers and students to focus limited instructional time where it is most required. Essential Skills’ programs are carefully leveled to ensure mastery at each stage of skills development. This builds skills gradually and sequentially to help guarantee success. At Essential Skills, we believe that success is the greatest motivator!


The introduction of well-designed online learning programs early on have been found to reduce the number of students who need to be moved from tier 1 to tier 2 or 3. For students who do require additional support, online reading programs for special education offer additional scaffolding, building on the support of teachers and special education professionals. When children are enjoying an activity, they will keep doing it, and when they feel successful, they will strive to go further.

Learn more about Essential Skills online reading programs for special education and reading programs for autism spectrum disorder.